Improving the lives of older people
and their carers by transforming the
communities in which they live and work"

Eden Resources available

The Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being™

“Well-being is a much larger idea than either quality of life or customer satisfaction. It is based on a holistic understanding of human needs and capacities. Well-being is elusive, highly subjective, and the most valuable of all human possessions.”

– Dr. Bill Thomas, What Are Old People

Well-being is the path to a life worth living. It is the ultimate outcome of a human life. Through a grant-funded collaborative effort, The Eden Alternative brought together a task force of culture change experts in 2004 and identified seven primary Domains of Well-Being. Together, they serve as a simple framework for asking thoughtful questions that help identify the unmet needs of those we care for:

  • IDENTITYbeing well-known; having personhood; individuality; having a history
  • GROWTHdevelopment; enrichment; expanding; evolving
  • AUTONOMYliberty; self-determination; choice; freedom
  • SECURITYfreedom from doubt, anxiety, or fear; safety; privacy; dignity; respect
  • CONNECTEDNESSbelonging; engaged; involved; connected to time, place, and nature
  • MEANINGsignificance; heart; hope; value; purpose; sacredness
  • JOYhappiness; pleasure; delight; contentment; enjoyment

Read the Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being white paper – ‘Revolutionizing the Experience of Home by Bringing Well-Being to Life.’


Warmth Surveys

In contrast to standard satisfaction surveys, Eden Alternative Warmth Surveys measure the levels of optimism, trust and generosity across an organisation.

Every gardener knows that you can’t grow plants in frozen soil.  In this metaphor, the soil is the culture that exists in your organisation.  If that culture is very cold, we know from our experience that implementation of The Eden Alternative will not grow and develop.  There is a continuum from cold to warm, and every organisation falls somewhere along that continuum.  Cold organisations are characterized by pessimism, cynicism, and stinginess, while warm organisations are characterized by optimism, trust and generosity. These qualities are essential to the success of culture change initiatives.

Introducing change into your organisation will likely cool the soil down.  Change consumes warmth.  So, it is important that you are continually warming the soil. This warming process begins with the formal leadership and should spread throughout the organisation, so that everyone is involved in the art of creating a caring community.

Using these warmth surveys can assess and prepare your organisation for adopting person-centred care practices.

There are 3 surveys:

  • Resident/Elder survey
  • Employee Survey
  • Family Survey

They are currently available in English and Afrikaans.

Contact the operations coordinator ( should you want to access these surveys as well as analysis reports of the results of your surveys.


Paradigm Busters

Explore the power of boldly busting our paradigms in the quest for meaningful change. Person-directed care challenges teams to push further, think out of the box, and re-create themselves. As advocates for change, we know that true well-being for Elders and their care partners depends on questioning and redefining every choice, habit, and system that may compromise this goal.

Here are the resource packets from the Eden Alternative’s Paradigm Buster Series. Each packet offers a rich combination of theory, examples, templates, and educational resources for your use.

Role of Policy and Procedures in Person-Directed Care – see more information below

Role of Job Descriptions & Evaluations in Person-Directed Care – see more information below

Role of Activity Professional in Person-Directed Care – see more information below

Role of Therapy Professional in Person-Directed Care – see more information below

NOTE: These tools will become very useful once the organisation or home has completed the Path to Mastery: Milestone 1 and has registered as an Eden Alternative Home. It is not recommended for use unless all the steps in Milestone 1 have been deeply entrenched.

Please note that the content of the Paradigm Busters contains reference to American legislation and terminology.

Paradigm Busters: Role of Policy and Procedure in Person-Directed Care

An organizational community is defined by the unique individuals who work and make a home there. No two organizations are alike and their policies, documentation, and procedures should reflect this singularity. Many organizations suffer from the continued use of outdated policies and procedures. Typically, these documents have their foundation in the institutional model of care and have remained stagnant, while the organization transforms. Aligning your materials and practices carefully and creatively with your values and vision makes your organization a place where dynamic, effective individuals want to be and grow.

The consistency of how you function and reflect your values is a powerful statement about the integrity of your culture change journey and your commitment to person-directed practices. This resource packet will explore the inspired evolution of policies and procedures into well-being strategies that place Elder voice and choice at the centre of daily life.

To assist your organization, this ground-breaking resource packet offers a rich combination of concepts, templates, and examples, including the Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being™ white paper.

Paradigm Busters: Role of Job Descriptions & Evaluations in Person-Directed Care

Successful organizations committed to person-directed care understand the difference between task and role. Traditional job descriptions focus on tasks, requirements, and boundaries. Task-driven job descriptions create task-driven employees.

Organizations want and need more to be successful in transforming their culture of care. They need employees that create a warm, caring environment where everyone thrives. Progressive businesses recognize the need for job descriptions and expectations that reflect the organizational mission: create a positive, collaborative work environment; drive motivation; and evaluate work performance in a manner that inspires people to grow. By redefining these crucial human resource processes across the continuum of care, we set up employees, and the organization, for a successful and sustainable culture change journey.

To assist your organization, this ground-breaking resource packet offers a rich combination of concepts, templates, and examples, including the Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being™ white paper

Paradigm Busters: Role of Activity Professional in Person-Directed Care

Organizations throughout the world are experiencing the challenges of transforming care partner professional roles on the culture change journey. This packet focuses on the recreational/activity care partner role by teaching a new perspective in contrast to the current paradigm that a full and rich life is filled with many “activities.” This ground-breaking resource packet offers a rich combination of education for all care partners, templates, and examples of tools, including the Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being™. Re-evaluating the role of the recreational/activity professional helps to create an environment that is flexible and responsive to the desires, interests, and needs of the people who live there (and exceeds regulatory expectations).

Paradigm Busters: Role of Therapy Professional in Person-Directed Care

Organizations committed to person-directed care rely on the support and expertise of therapy professionals. Thus, therapy professionals must be given the opportunity to understand and reflect the organization’s culture change values. An important part of creating this opportunity involves identifying the unique concerns and challenges of different therapeutic roles, how they evolve in person-directed practice, and how these changes support and impact the role of other professionals on the team. This resource packet also explores how re-evaluating the role of the therapy professional influences the application of person-directed care in short-term, rehabilitation environments and how redefining care in these settings is an important part of deepening culture change across the continuum of care.

To assist your organization, this ground breaking resource packet offers a rich combination of concepts, templates, and examples, including the Eden Alternative Domains of Well-Being™ white paper. It’s 5-section format provides tools and resources for every level of culture change development, as it relates to different aspects of therapeutic services.

Should you want to order this resource, please contact Magda at 

or 021 461 7754


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